Do come and join us for this year’s Irish Session, Thursday 14 March, 2.30 – 4.00pm. We’ll set the room up cafe style, enjoy a light buffet, and sing some of our favourite Irish songs. As well as guitar and percussion we hope to have harp, whistle and fiddle to add to the Irish flavour. Wear something green, and if you have a favourite Irish song or poem, do bring it along. The event is free, but if you would like to put a donation in the pot towards group funds that will be gratefully received. Everyone is welcome – members past, present and future, guests, lung health professionals, curious passers by – the more the merrier. We’ll also be singing for those members who would love to come, but are too poorly at the moment. We miss you, get well soon.
Here at Cambridge Singing for Breathing we are very fond of singing sea shanties. Like most work songs they are designed to co-ordinate both effort and breathing. Just as in our exercises, the out breath is all important! In a sea-going situation the folk hauling on the ropes wouldn’t sing but rather make rhythmic ‘hoo!’ or ‘huh!’ sounds while others sang. Adding these sounds gives the shanty an authentic flavour. There are other ballad-like shanties of course, which tell stories. These would be sung by the chantey man as he sat on the capstan and the sailors gathered round. Hence they are called ‘capstan songs’.
We were very excited when we heard that the Port Isaac Fishermans Friends were coming to Cambridge on 8 November this year. As they would be in town on a Thursday we did our best to persuade them to visit us and sing a song or two with us in exchange for tea and cake. Sadly their schedule did not permit, but they did offer us six free tickets to their evening concert. Those that went had a fabulous time and particularly enjoyed the audience participation aspect of the concert. Afterwards we added ‘The Corncrake’ and ‘Being a pirate’ to our repertoire which we can now sing along with favourites such as South Australia, Sloop John B, A Drop of Nelson’s Blood, and Pay Me My Money Down.
So many thanks to the Fishermans Friends for their fabulous singing and their generosity to our group. They are doing a great job keeping the shanties alive for all to enjoy.
We were delighted to host a special session to showcase the short documentary about the group made by local media student and friend of the group Paul Christie. We decided to dedicate the film, titled ‘Giving it our all’ to our very first member, Peter Kendrick, who loved singing so much, but sadly died in June. We were especially thrilled that five members of Peter’s family were able to be with us for the premiere. As well as friends and relatives of our members, other guests included health professionals and researchers specialising in respiratory conditions, local singers and supporters of our group. We sang a selection of songs and encouraged everyone to join in. All in all it was a wonderful afternoon.